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When God Uses Our Pain for Good

Guest Blog about pain by Dr. Michelle Bengtson

You’re probably either walking through a painful trial right now, just came out of one or are preparing to enter one. Jesus warned us that in this life we would experience trials, pain, and suffering (John 16:33). Sometimes our experience with pain has little to do with us & more about what God wants to do for others!


Dr. Bengtson’s Story of Pain used by God.

During the great financial crisis, my husband was laid off from work, so I jumped in and did more to pick up the slack for what he was unable to do. I got into a very bad cycle of working at my private practice over 100 hours a week. I would work until midnight or 1am, run home, take a quick shower and a power nap and be back at the office by 3 or 4am. Until my body couldn’t anymore.

My body shut down, and I became deathly ill. I underwent two emergency surgeries, was kept alive on IV-hydration and nutrition, I was placed on medically-prescribed bed rest for 5 months, and I dwindled from 113 pounds to a skeletal 74, which for frame of reference is 30 pounds lighter than I stand before you today.

The longer I remained ill and unable to do what I was accustomed to doing, the more depression got a foothold to the point that if that was going to be my life going forward, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go on living. I prayed and told God that if I had to go through it, I wanted it to count for something. I didn’t want my pain to be wasted.

While I remained so ill, all I could do was sleep, pray, listen to praise and worship music, and watch sermons online. What I detested initially, in my forced rest, I came to cherish because I came to appreciate my time cocooning with God.

Once I was medically released to begin returning to my private practice on a very reduced part-time schedule, I cried all the way to work that first day. I felt weak, I was tired, and I didn’t want to leave my cocoon with God. But I detached my home IV, put on long sleeves to cover my bruised arms, and slowly walked back into my office waiting for my first patient of the day.

She was a new patient, and this would be our first time meeting. When I asked her why she had come and how I could help, she explained that she had been through a medically complex condition, she was depressed, her arms were bruised and battered from all the blood draws and IV’s, and she wasn’t sure she wanted to go on living.

I sensed in my spirit, God telling me, “Show her.” I don’t know if you’ve ever argued with God, but I did. In mental health, we are trained to be a blank slate and not to share personal information with our patients, and yet I knew God was telling me to “show her.”

On the prompting of the Holy Spirit, I looked into her eyes, and with great compassion, as I rolled up my sleeves and showed her my bruised and battered arms, I shared with her that I felt there was a reason for her to be in my office on that particular day to know that she was seen, she was loved, and she was cared for, and that there was a purpose and a plan for her life, and it wasn’t over. She wept and whispered that she finally felt seen, and that if I could get through my ordeal, she could too.

That’s what we all want in our pain, isn’t it? To be seen. To be loved. To be cared about.

But what if our pain isn’t about us, but about those God will minister to through us?

Had I not gone through that illness, I couldn’t have shared so authentically and vulnerably just what my patient needed to hear, from someone who understood.

You never know when God might use you or your painful experience unexpectedly. But if there’s one thing I know, God uses pain for good. Rom. 8:28 encourages us, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

When I crawled in the valley of depression, you would have been hard-pressed to convince me that anything good would come from that experience. But that time made me press in deeper to my relationship with God. It showed me there was purpose in pain. It also prompted a deeper level of understanding and compassion for others who walk through that dark valley and feel alone.

Often, we cannot relate to some experiences unless we have been through them personally. Now that I’ve walked that dark and lonely valley, I have much greater understanding and compassion for others who presently walk that road.

My heart goes out to them from a place of knowing. While the specifics of our experience may be different, I can relate on a level of shared pain, and I can enter in with them from a perspective of “Me too!” that I never could have if I had not traveled that road myself.

In your pain today, let me encourage you that God sees. He is with you, and he will use your pain for your good and for his glory in his perfect way and perfect time. God never calls the equipped—he equips those he calls. Our experiences qualify us for his service. God uses our pain for good. Our pain is never wasted. 

Look back on your pain journey—where can God uniquely use you to enter in with another? What we do as writers, speakers, and retailers is make ourselves available to share resources that offer a hopeful hand to others in pain. God not only doesn’t waste our pain, but he uses it for good.

More about my guest

Dr. Michelle Bengtson is a hope concierge! Whether as a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist, host of the award-winning podcast Your Hope Filled Perspective, or the author of several award-winning books including Hope Prevails and Breaking Anxiety’s Grip, her passion is to share hope and encouragement with others. Her newest release is The Hem of His Garment: Reaching Out to God When Pain Overwhelms. She loves all things teal, spending time with friends and family, taking long walks, or sitting by quiet shores, and it’s a bonus when any of those are accompanied by sea salt caramel chocolate! You can find her and her hope-filled resources at

For more hope, stay connected with me at:

Grace and Peace to you,

Yvonne M. Morgan is a Christian #author, #blogger, and #speaker. #BibleGatewayPartner

Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

Yvonne M Morgan

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This Post Has 24 Comments

  1. JD Wininger

    Amen Ms. Michelle. God can use all of what we give to Him. When we recognize that we don’t walk through the trials of this life alone, it’s easier to share our journey to help others. God’s blessings ladies, and thank you for sharing Ms. Michellle’s journey with your readers Ms. Yvonne.

  2. Vera Day

    Wow, I can’t imagine working a 100-hour week. No wonder Dr. Bengtson became so ill. I treasure God’s gift of rest/sleep.

  3. Candyce Carden

    Thanks for sharing this meaningful story. These words spoke loudly to me: “But what if our pain isn’t about us, but about those God will minister to through us?”

    1. Yvonne Morgan

      They rang very true for me too. Thanks Candyce and blessings

  4. Katherine Pasour

    It is hopeful to know that our pain has a greater purpose than our suffering. Sometimes we aren’t able to see the lesson or the good until long after the trial. Thank you, Michelle and Yvonne for your inspiring message of hope.

  5. Nancy E. Head

    God doesn’t waste a teardrop. He doesn’t waste anything. Thanks and God bless, Yvonne and Michelle.

    1. Yvonne Morgan

      So very true Nancy. We hanks and God bless you too.

  6. Melissa G. Henderson

    Michelle is a dear person and truly a woman of faith. She inspires me. 🙂

    1. Yvonne Morgan

      She is very special. Thanks Melissa. God bless

  7. Sylvia Schroeder

    God does not waste our pain. Thank you for this testimony.

  8. Mk pippy

    Amazing story and reality check
    Thanks for sharing her story – and the power of Our Lord

    1. Yvonne Morgan

      Amen MK. She is an amazing woman. God bless you.

  9. Joanna Eccles

    Hi Michelle, Thanks so much for sharing your story. I’ve learn that God won’t waste our pain but sometimes we will. Thanks for being obedient and not hiding your bruises when He asked you to show them. Your story reminded me of 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (NKJV). You used what you’d learned through your tribulation to comfort others. Yay God!

  10. Jessica Brodie

    Amen to this! I love the line: But what if our pain isn’t about us, but about those God will minister to through us?
    My daughter and I have talked about this quite a bit. She had a tough battle with mental illness, and we wonder: maybe she walked through it so it will help those she helps in the future? She wants to be a teacher… who knows how God will use it?

    1. Yvonne Morgan

      Amen Jessica. Thank you Jessica and God bless

  11. Melissa McLaughlin

    Thank you for sharing this testimony of hope! It can be so difficult to see anything good coming of our pain when we are in the dark places. But as we cling to the Lord, He can use it for good to draw us to Himself and help others. God bless you!

  12. karentfriday

    Yvonne, thank you for sharing Michelle with us. I met this wonderful woman of God at She Speaks writers conference. And I’ve read her books, completed her Bible studies, and listened to her podcast. She has touched so many people with her story.

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